Monday, May 2, 2011

And I'm Done.

I think it's time to call the game for the evening.

The A-Z challenge was fun and all, but I realized something along the way. I call this blog Ludandi Gratia--"for the sake of gaming"--and yet, I don't really have much to say on that account. Other bloggers within the Old-School Revival are far more articulate than I when it comes to proffering their game philosophies. (I admit this, even though I largely disagree with the slavish adherence to Gygaxian D&D, preferring instead the more story- and character-driven assumptions of the Zeb Cook era.)

I likewise have little interest these days in producing game material. For the last seven or eight months, I've been running a couple of wildly entertaining old-school campaigns (one using Engines & Empires, one using Retro Phaze) with a group of really great players at my FLGS. It's been a blast, a heck of a run, and it's coming to an end all too soon as I get ready to pack up and move on with life. During this time, I noticed that game materials--the modules, the prep-work, the things I want on-hand when I ref the game--are best produced in the week before the game session. They're more creative and just all-around better when they come from the DM, as close to the moment as possible. There's magic of a sort in the custom-build approach to DMing, where you create adventures and scenarios that are perfectly suited to your party but still somehow feel as if the player characters have stumbled upon them, sandbox style, entirely of their own volition. (The "pseudo-sandbox", although decried by some as just a railroad in sheep's clothing, is in my opinion the best way to run a game. It also has a poetical name: "Schroedinger's campaign setting". I like that.)

I'm starting to feel the pangs of burnout, both as a Dungeon Master and a blogger. It's high time that I took a nice, long break and stood back to get some perspective. I'll not be running any D&D for a while. I'm going to let this blog lie fallow, unless some wonderful gaming insight strikes me. But for the most part, gaming is sadly losing its charm. I'm probably going to start up another blog about the usual topics that nobody wants to hear others' opinions about: politics, religion, the vagaries of geekdom. Just to get some rants off my chest, you know? But a blog dedicated exclusively to role-playing... it's just not grabbing me right now.

As of this moment, I'm kind of an ex-OSR guy and an ex-D&D player. I know that it won't last: it's just a break. Someday soon, I'll feel the itch, get the bug-bite, need my fix. But for now, it sits somewhere between tear-jerking and cathartic to say that after this next weekend, I'll be hanging up the dice for a while.

To those who have followed this blog's short run (and I can count you on one hand): thanks for reading. See ya later.